Beef cow calf operationAnimal Nutrition Services

From progressive feed and forage analysis services to custom research, Rock River Laboratory provides the analysis needed for building successful herd nutrition programs.

Through the use of published techniques, Rock River Laboratory offers a broad spectrum of accurate analysis options to  assess diet and nutrient digestion needs from the lab bench to the cow. Learn more about Rock River Laboratory's analyses processes and capabilities below: 

Wet Chemistry Analysis 

  • Rock River Laboratory uses approved physical, chemical, enzymatic, volumetric, and gravimetric techniques to measure core nutrients, vitamins, minerals, or digestion of feed and forage samples.  
  • A sample is dried and ground down to around a ground-coffee size to ensure sample uniformity.

Subsamples are then taken of the original sample, and each nutrient is measured separately using different wet chemistry techniques. 

  • Wet chemistry is the backbone of laboratory analyses and the gold standard

Valuable for research and development programs

Useful when troubleshooting

  • Cost ranges from $15 to $250, depending on analysis requested.
  • Turnaround time is two days to two weeks

Near-Infrared (NIR) Analysis

  • A dried and ground sample is placed into a small cup with a glass bottom and a reflectance instrument is used to bounce near-infrared (NIR) light off the sample.
  • The reflected light is measured by the machine, creating a graph that looks like a roller coaster, with wavelength on the x-axis and absorbance on the y-axis.

The nutrient and digestion values for the sample are measured (predicted) 

The absorbance measures are related to nutrient and digestion properties for the sample 

The NIR instrument must be calibrated (validated) against wet chemistry nutrient and digestion measures 

Accuracy can only be as good as the wet chemistry technique 

  • NIR is an accepted technique useful for everyday nutritional programs 
  • Costs range from $16 to $30 
  • Turnaround time is a matter of hours

Complete Digestion Analytics: Several levels of digestion measures combine to offer users the tools needed for ration balancing, benchmarking or on-farm troubleshooting

  • Lab bench, rumen incubation, or on-farm (total-tract) digestion measures offered
  • Rumen in vitro NDF and protein digestion provides nutritionists the values needed for optimizing feed conversion
  • Rumen in situ starch or protein and intestinal protein digestion values assist nutritionists in troubleshooting or identifying profit opportunities 
  • TMRD in vivo apparent digestion accurately measures digestions through the cow and relates to actual dairy performance

Anti-nutritional Factors (Bacteria, Fungi, and Toxin) Analysis

Water Analysis

Manure-Based Nutrition Analyses

Mill Quality Assurance (QA) Program

Custom Research